State’s vaccine supply to increase 25 percent
A 25 percent expected increase in the number of COVID-19 vaccines and a sense of urgency led the state to make everyone at least 16 years of age eligible to get inoculated starting March 29, Gov. Mike DeWine said.
The state is receiving about 400,000 vaccine doses each week, and that will go up to 500,000 a week starting March 29, he said Thursday.
“We will soon be receiving more vaccine in the state, which is tremendous,” DeWine said. “We also want to get as many shots in arms as possible as quickly as possible. As we hear more and more about the variants in the country — and in Ohio — we know that the faster we are able to get Ohioans vaccinated, the safer and more protected we will be.”
Beginning today, the minimum age to be eligible for the vaccine is going from 50 to 40. Also, those with certain medical conditions are eligible today.
Starting March 29, all those who are at least 16 years old will be eligible for the vaccine.
DeWine said he’s hopeful that by the fall there will be a vaccination for children.
All health orders related to the pandemic will be removed in Ohio once COVID-19 caseloads fall to at least 50 per 100,000 for two straight weeks.
The last time the state was below that level was June 24 at 46.1 cases per 100,000. It reached its peak of 845.5 on Dec. 16
The state is at 143.8 cases per 100,000 as of Thursday. It was at 155 cases per 100,000 last week and at 179.6 two weeks ago. The number is provided on Thursday.
“It’s declining, but not as dramatic as previous weeks,” DeWine said.
Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties remained Thursday at Level 3 (red) on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.
Of the state’s 88 counties, 62 are at Level 3, 21 are at Level 2 (orange) and 5 are at Level 1 (yellow). No counties are at the highest Level 4 (purple).
The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,567,312 people, 21.96 percent of the state’s population, had at least started the vaccination process as of 6 a.m. Thursday, including 72,319 people in the previous 24 hours.
In Mahoning County, 24.57 percent of the population (56,183 people) had received at least one dose with 22.94 percent in Trumbull County (45,408 people) and 20.52 percent in Columbiana County (20,902 people) as of 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the ODH.
There were 1,484,761 people, 12.7 percent of the state’s population, who finished the vaccinations as of 6 a.m. Thursday, including 34,738 in the prior 24 hours.
The state will almost certainly exceed 1.5 million today.
In Mahoning County, 14.56 percent of the population (32,288 people) had completed the process while 12.86 percent of the population in Trumbull (25,451 people) and 12.94 percent of the population in Columbiana (13,188 people) had as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
The ODH reported 2,104 new COVID-19 cases in the state Thursday, up from the daily average of 1,590 for the past 21 days.
It is the most for a single day in Ohio since Feb. 25 with 2,409 cases.
The state had a total of 995,785 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 946,602 presumed recovered.
With an adjusted policy on how it reports COVID-19 deaths, the ODH will provide that information only on Tuesday and Friday.
The state reported 17,992 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
Mahoning County had 19,828 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 18,776 presumed recovered and 562 deaths, according to the ODH.
The department reported Trumbull County had 14,699 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 13,781 presumed recovered and 434 deaths.
Columbiana County had 8,270 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 7,883 presumed recovered and 214 deaths, according to the ODH.
The ODH’s COVID-19 website was down for about two hours Thursday. It’s at least the fifth time in the past two months that the website failed with the ODH citing “technical difficulties” for the problems.
COVID-19 by the numbers
The number of cases, changes in cases and deaths in counties in the region and statewide as of Thursday:
County Cases Change since Change since Deaths
yesterday last week
Trumbull 14,699 +28 +160 434*
Mahoning 19,828 +17 +156 562*
Columbiana 8,270 +7 +62 214*
Ohio 995,785 +2,104 +10,851 17,992*
SOURCE: Ohio Department of Health
*Because of a changed data collection policy, recent death totals are not available.